It is a mistake to believe that taking pro-biotics is a band aid for gut issues and an easy bypass around the work that goes into healthy eating. In fact taking the same limited strain bacteria can actually cause more imbalance and is not a long term solution.
This is why health practitioners in the know only recommend probiotics short-term and with greater emphasis being placed on discovering the root cause of persistent gut symptoms. With Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth, Candida, or parasites we need different probiotics to target different issues (see a health professional to guide you through this), but we still need to build a healthy and diverse microbiome with nutrition and lifestyle!
Your gut microbiome should ideally have 20000 to 30000 different species, and the reality is, in this modern world, it requires conscious effort, not just popping supplements.
So what steps can you take to kickstart a thriving and diverse microbiome?
- AVOID things that reduce your microbial diversity: antibiotics, pharmaceutical drugs (especially neurofen), herbicides and pesticides (particularly glyphosate/roundup) and man-made chemicals in your personal care and cleaning products and even furniture and clothing all harm your gut health. While it is hard to avoid exposure to all of these chemicals, a little bit of education and awareness about this can make a huge difference.
- BREATHE in fresh air in different locations in nature, each environment hosts a range of micro particles that influence your mental health as well as gut health.
- EAT a variety of fruit and veggies, we should aim to have between 35-42 different types of Fruit and veg each week. Each one has it’s own pre or pro biotic qualities that aid the digestive process and enrich our gut organisms. This includes varying the meals that you eat too. Eat directly from a veggie patch if you can.
- SLEEP patterns and having a healthy circadian rhythm is crucial for your microbiome. This means avoiding blue screen light as much as you can and being outdoors in sunlight and nature more often. Go to bed when the sun set and get up when the sun rises. Read more here
- HUG your furry friends, they give us love, connection and microbial diversity.
If your gut health allows it, fermented foods are a great way to increase microbial diversity. Not everyone can tolerate these so please follow your health practitioners advice.
Let’s all try and hit those fruit and veg targets and see how we feel in a few months time!!
All of this advice is of a general nature only and if you have any serious health concerns please seek the advice of a qualified health practitioner